CityofGod.Blog is posting Cyprian of Carthage greatest writing of Bishop, saint and martyr of both East and West, for the Apostle Creed, Marks of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox commemorates of Cyprianus sainthood today. Roman tradition is Sept 16, date of his death (traditional)…..Why break from Rome? Because, 9th century schismatics, they should know better, celebrating their saint with blindfolds on to their own disobedience of their Mother!
Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage (now Tunisia), was a champion of this more forgiving approach, is the official policy of the Catholic church. He also heightened the importance of bishops in the church by insisting only they could decide whether anyone should be forgiven. The Apostles (first Bishops) acted with authority in this conciliatory approach – Acts 2), and many split away from the Catholic Church to form what they considered to be a pure and uncompromised church. The split is named after Novatian, the bishop elected by the hard-line church in Rome.
St. Cyprian held to Orthodox Catholic doctrines on the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation, (judged by later standards) baptismal regeneration, expressly in Ep. lxiv on infant baptism, the Real Presence, Sacrifice of the Mass, and in Ep. lxiii on the mixed chalice, written against the sacrilegious custom of using water without wine for Mass. On penance he is clear, like all the ancients, that for those who have been separated from the Church by sin there is no return except by a humble confession (exomologesis apud sacerdotes), followed by remissio facta per sacerdotes.
Cyprian wrote The Unity of the Church, considered as his greatest work, to counter the Novatian schism. Being the first great Latin writer of the Church, Cyprian was born to wealthy pagan parents and educated in law. He practiced as a lawyer in Carthage, prior to conversion to Christianity about 246 AD. When he sold his estates, gave the price to the poor; and soon after his baptism, ordained a priest. Later consecrated as Bishop of Carthage, notwithstanding his resistance and controversy. Below, he argues that there can only be one united church, under one united episcopate. Any breakaway movement is therefore a false church. He was hugely influential, both in raising yet further the authority of bishops, and in furthering the idea that there is one uniform true church united in opinion and practice. Martryed 258 AD. There he learned by supernatural revelation that his future martyrdom was to occur the following year. He was discovered in a place near Carthage one day, and the sentence of death by decapitation was pronounced against him. “It is the sentence of this court that Thascius Cyprianus be executed with the sword.” Cyprian: “Thanks be to God.”
Currently 260 new “sola denominations” form each year! Last count 49,000+.
Cyprian on Church Unity, volumes 3 and 4 of the Patrologia Latina.
The numbered paragraphs are sections from On the Unity of the Church, by Cyprian of CarthageReceived in Rome version:
IV. If any will consider this, there is no need of a long treatise and of arguments. ‘The Lord saith to Peter: ‘I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; to thee I will give the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and what thou shalt have bound on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what thou shalt have loosed shall be loosed in heaven.’ [Matt. 16:18-19] Upon one He builds His Church, and though to all His Apostles after His resurrection He gives an equal power and says: ‘As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you: Receive the Holy Ghost, whosesoever sins you shall have remitted they shall be remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins you shall have retained they shall be retained’,[John 20:21] yet that He might make unity manifest, He disposed the origin of that unity beginning from one. The other Apostles were indeed what Peter was, endowed with a like fellowship both of honor and of power, but the commencement proceeds from one, that the Church may be shown to be one. This one Church the Holy Ghost in the person of the Lord designates in the Canticle of Canticles, and says, One is My Dove, My perfect one, one is she to her mother, one to her that bare her.[Song 6:9] He that holds not this unity of the Church, does he believe that he holds the Faith? He who strives against and resists the Church, is he confident that he is in the Church?
Subsititute: passage: . . . bound in heaven. Upon one He builds His Church, and to the same He says after His resurrection, ‘feed My sheep’. And though to all His Apostles He gave an equal power yet did He set up one chair, and disposed the origin and manner of unity by his authority. The other Apostles were indeed what Peter was, but the primacy is given to Peter, and the Church and the chair is shown to be one. And all are pastors, but the flock is shown to be one, which is fed by all the Apostles with one mind and heart. He that holds not this unity of the Church, does he think that he holds the faith? He who deserts the chair of Peter, upon whom the Church is founded, is he confident that he is in the Church?
Alternate Version grasped by heretics? ( see end bottom of Post)
V. We should all firmly believe in and maintain this unity, but especially those of us that are bishops, so that we may prove the episcopate to be one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brothers by false teaching: the episcopate is one, and each part is held to the whole body by each other part. The Church is also one, though spread far and wide by its ever-increasing fruitfulness. There are many rays of the sun, but one light. There are many branches of a tree, but one strength from its mighty root. From one spring flow many streams, and though they are multiplied in rich abundance, yet they are still united in one source. You cannot separate a ray of light from the sun, because its unity does not allow division. You can break a branch from a tree, but when broken, it will not be able to bud. Cut a stream off from its source and it dries up. It is the same with the Church. Filled with the light of the Lord, it shines its rays over the whole world, yet everywhere it is one and the same light that shines, and the body is not divided. The Church’s fruitfulness spreads branches over the whole world. It sends forth her rivers, freely flowing, yet the source is one, and she is one mother, plentiful in fruitfulness. We are born from her womb, nourished by her milk, given life by her spirit. [Garbandal Spain – analogy useful!]
VI The spouse of Christ cannot commit adultery. She is un-corrupted and pure. She knows one home, she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one bed. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and unites with an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church. No one who forsakes the Church of Christ can receive the rewards of Christ.He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy.
“No one can have God for his Father, who does not have the Church for his mother.”
It was as possible escape outside Noah’s Ark as it is to escape outside of the Church.
The Lord warns us, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” [Matt. 12:30] He who breaks the peace and the unity of Christ, is an opponent of Christ. He who gathers anywhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. The Lord says, “I and the Father are one; ” [John 10:30] and again it is written of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, “These three are one.” [1 John 5:7 ] Does anyone believe that such unity which comes from the strength of God and is held together by the sacraments of heaven, can be divided by the falling out of opposing wills? Anyone who does not keep this unity does not keep God’s law, does not keep the faith of the Father and the Son, does not keep hold of life and salvation.
VII This sacrament of unity, this unbreakable bond of concord, is demonstrated in the Gospel, when the coat of the Lord Jesus Christ is not at all divided nor cut, but is received as a whole garment by those who cast lots for it. Scripture says, “Because the coat was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,” they said, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it’.” [John 21:23-24] That coat had a unity from the top down, that is, unity that came from heaven and the Father, that could not be torn by those who received and possessed it. It is whole and undivided. No one who splits and divides the Church of Christ can possess the garment of Christ….[ so who is @ the wedding feast w/o the proper garment? (Esther2:18; Mt22:12) read SEAMLESS GARMENT 09/16/19 on Cyprian of Carthage- Roma Feast day.]
VIII Who, then, is so wicked and faithless, who is so insane with the madness of discord, as to believe that the unity of God can be divided, or to dare to tear the garment of the Lord, the Church of Christ? He himself warns us in his Gospel, “There shall be one flock and one shepherd.” [John 10:16] Does any one believe that there can be many shepherds in one place, or many flocks? The Apostle Paul urges this same unity: “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree with each other and avoid schisms. Be united in the same mind and in the same judgment.” [1 Cor. 1:10.] And again, he says, “Bearing with one another in love, labor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” [Eph. 4:3] Do you think that you can stand and live if you leave the Church, building other homes for yourself?
IX… How could the fierceness of wolves exist in a Christian breast? Or the savageness of dogs, the deadly venom of serpents, or the bloody cruelty of wild animals? We are to be congratulated when people like this are separated from the Church, rather than overcoming the doves and sheep of Christ with their cruel poison. Bitterness cannot coexist with sweetness, darkness with light, rain with clear skies, war with peace, barrenness with fertility, drought with water, or storms with tranquility. Do not think that good people can depart from the Church. The wind does not carry away the wheat, nor does the hurricane uproot a tree based on a solid root. It is only light straws that are tossed about by the tempest and feeble trees that are blown down by the whirlwind. The Apostle John condemns people like this: “They went out from among us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would surely have continued with us.” [1 John 2:19]
.X…. This is why heresies often been started, and still continue to arise, because twisted faithless minds refuse to live in peace and unity. But the Lord permits this, while people still have free will, so that the Truth will test our hearts and our minds, allowing the sound faith of those that pass the test to shine out. As the Holy Spirit forewarned, “It is necessary for there to be heresies so that those of you who are approved can stand out from the rest.” [1 Cor. 11:19] This way the faithful are approved, the wicked detected, and even before the Day of Judgment, the souls of the righteous and of the unrighteous are already divided, and the chaff is separated from the wheat. The unrighteous are the ones who on their own authority, without any divine arrangement, [see Who sent You? Posted 7/xx/19 ] set themselves up to preside over the daring strangers who assemble with them, who appoint themselves bishops without any law of ordination. The Holy Spirit in the Psalms points to them sitting in the seat of pestilence and plagues, deceiving with serpent’s tongue, skillful in corrupting the truth, vomiting deadly poisons. Their speech creeps like a cancer, their talk is a deadly poison in every heart and breast.
.XI …The Lord points these people out. “They have turned from me, the fountain of living waters, and have made broken cisterns which hold no water.”[Jer. 2:13] Although there can only be one baptism, they think that they can baptize; although they turn from the fountain of life, they promise the gift of living and saving water. People are not washed by them, they are made filthy. Their sins are not purged away, but are piled high. Such a birth does not give sons to God, but to the devil. They are born by falsehood, and they do not receive the promises of truth. They are conceived through sin, and lose the grace of faith. They cannot receive the reward of peace, because they have broken the Lord’s peace with the madness of discord.
..XII. Do not deceive yourselves by misinterpreting the words of the Lord that, “Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.” [Matt. 18:20] Corrupters of the Gospel quote these words, ignoring the ones that come just before (as they themselves are separated from the Church, so they divorce one section of the text from the next). For the Lord, urging his disciples to unanimity and peace, said, “I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about what you ask for, it shall be given to you by my Father in heaven.” This shows that God gives, not in accordance with to the number of those who ask, but in accordance with their unanimity. “If two of you shall agree on earth” – agreement comes first. This shows that our firm and faithful agreement is essential. But how can you agree with anyone if you do not agree with the Church itself, and with the universal brotherhood? How can two or three be assembled together in Christ’s name, when they are clearly separated from Christ and from his Gospel? For we have not withdrawn from them, but they from us. Their success in building many places of worship from which to spawn further heresies and schisms has emboldened them in forsaking the source of the truth. The Lord says to those also who are in his Church, that if they agree with each other in his instructions and are united in prayer – even of only two or three are present – they will receive what they ask from the majesty of God…. He does not divide people from the Church – after all, he himself set up and created the Church. Instead, to rebuke the faithless for their discord and commend peace to the faithful, he shows that he is with two or three who pray with one mind, rather than with a great many who disagree, and that more can be obtained by the harmonious prayer of a few, than by the discordant prayer of many. …
XIV Even if people like this become martyrs for the name of Christ, their stain is not washed away. The unforgivable grievous sin of discord is not purged by suffering. You cannot be a martyr outside the Church. You cannot enter the kingdom when you shun those that will reign there…. Those who fall out cannot receive the rewards of Christ. He said, “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”[John 15:12] No one will receive Christ who has violated the love of Christ by faithless dissension. He who does not have love does not have God. The blessed Apostle John says, “God is love, and whoever lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.” [1 John 4:16] No one can live with God who is not of one mind with God’s Church. They may be burned, or lay down their lives, or be thrown to the wild beasts. This will not prove to be the crown of faith, but the punishment of sin. It is not the glorious ending of religious valor, but the destruction of despair. Such people may be slain, they cannot be crowned.
Daily Indulgence: Partial indulgence (300 days) . A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this invocation is recited devoutly every day for a month. (S.P. Ap., Feb 9, 1943). RACCOLTA pg # 11.
#30. Most Holt Trinity, we adore Thee and through Mary we implore Thee. Give unto all mankind unity in the faith and courage to confess it.
Alternate version: IV – Footnote to paragragh IV..…These alternative versions are given one after the other in the chief family of manuscripts which contains them, while in some other families the two have been partially or wholly combined into one. The combined version is the one which has been printed in man editions, and has played a large part in controversy with Protestants. It is of course spurious in this conflated form, but the alternative form given above is not only found in eighth- and ninth-century manuscripts, but it is quoted by Bede, by Gregory the Great (in a letter written for his predecessor Pelagius II), and by St. Gelasius; indeed, it was almost certainly known to St. Jerome and St. Optatus in the fourth century. The evidence of the manuscripts would indicate an equally early date. Every expression and thought in the passage can be paralleled from St. Cyprian’s habitual language, and it seems to be now generally admitted that this alternative passage is an alteration made by the author himself when forwarding his work to the Roman confessors. The “one chair” is always in Cyprian the episcopal chair, and Cyprian has been careful to emphasize this point, and to add a reference to the other great Petrine text, the Change in John 21. The assertion of the equality of the Apostles as Apostles remains, and the omissions are only for the sake of brevity. The old contention that it is a Roman forgery is at all events quite out of the question. Another passage is also altered in all the same manuscripts which contain the “interpolation”; it is a paragraph in which the humble and pious conduct of the lapsed “on this hand (hic) is contrasted in a long succession of parallels with the pride and wickedness of the schismatics “on that hand Alternate version: IV –
CityofGod.Blog: SOURCES : Cyprian’s works were edited in volumes 3 and 4 of the Patrologia Latina. https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/study/module/cyprian/CityofGod.Blog: SOURCES : Cyprian’s works were edited in volumes 3 and 4 of the Patrologia Latina. APA citation. Chapman, J. (1908). St. Cyprian of Carthage. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved July 29, 2019 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04583b.htmCityofGod.Blog: